Photography by Ann Ray | Courtesy of Bleecker Street.
“No one discovered McQueen. McQueen discovered himself.” Such is the story of Lee Alexander McQueen (1969-2010) and his revolutionary namesake label, McQueen. Born and raised in London, when most are off to college, Lee found himself at an apprenticeship on the bespoke capital of the world, Savile Row. This queen worked his way into the legendary fashion program at Central Saint Martins where he was recognized by the late Vogue Fashion Editor Isabella Blow. Blow took Lee under her wing, inspiring many of his designs and also introducing him to the fashion elite. Her presence was a driving force in Lee’s life. “I didn’t care about Lee,” she said. “I just cared about the clothes.” Lee was plagued by dark imagery for all of his life. His hellbent spin on all things fashion was quickly commercialized and thus exploited for the very masses, leaving the maker often emotionally drained, despondent and coping with cocaine. The film does not inform necessarily, but only shows you the creative genius and dark spirit behind one of fashion’s most significant designers of the past century. His legacy and initial impact on fashion parallels with Dior and Saint Laurent. Using home video and personal interviews with family and associates, McQueen is a bit of a cautionary tale. Talent, when not protected and managed correctly, comes with a large price. Lee’s story — as well as his anarchistic approach to fashion — will stick with you.